How to Sell Your House Without a Real Estate Professional..”FSBO”

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

How to Sell Your House Without a Real Estate Professional..”FSBO”

When the real estate market improves and home prices are increasing, there’s more demand and less inventory, “FSBO” become more visible. Why not? The real estate market is good, anything and everything with four walls are selling and last time you checked, the value of your home has increased a great deal where you can finally buy that waterfront home you’ve been dreaming about.

No matter what your background is, you certainly can sell your own home without a Realtor®. The question you must ask yourself is “will my net profit be higher”. See, whether you use a Realtor® to sell your house or sell it By Owner, there are certain costs associated with the sale of a house as well as the time it takes to get it sold. The faster you sell your house, better for you as you would spend less money on mortgage payments, costs associated with the upkeep, utilities and time you take away from your job.

Here’s how you can sell your house without a real estate professional..”FSBO”


-Price Your House to Sell: You’ve heard the old saying there’s a buyer for every house, while this is so true, that saying has been around for many years and times have changed. In year 2015, today’s buyers are savvy and they can easily find out what your house is worth as this information is available online but better yet, they are most likely working with a Realtor® who can run comps from MLS and be able to tell him/her what the houses in the area are selling for. Before you do anything, be sure to price your house within the fair market range. If it is priced too high, it won’t go anywhere, priced too low, you will be leaving money on the table.
You could hire an appraiser at about $300.00 to $400.00 to do the appraisal to provide you with the information needed to price your house.

-Prepare Your House to Show: Your house should not only attract buyers from the outside but once they’re in the house, they should be able to picture themselves living there. Some suggestions are, declutter inside and out, paint to neutral colors if necessary, clean..clean..clean.
If anything needs to be fixed, this would be a great time to do it as it will come out during inspection.

-Take Great Pictures of Your House: I suggest hiring a professional to do this, it usually runs between $250.00-$350.00. Remember, buyers will see photos online before they even consider your house.

-Market Your House Online and Off: Get professional postcards made and mail them out to your neighborhood announcing the sale of your house, they might know somebody who is looking to purchase a home. Most buyers today start their search online so you must reach out to those potential buyers. There are many websites such as ForSaleByOwner, as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Google, Yahoo, Craigslist. These are just a few, there are many more.

-Hold Open Houses: Depending on your area, Open Houses can be great if done correctly. I suggest advertising the Open House a week prior with the exact times, place minimum 10 directional signs(I use 25 signs for mine). Prepare your house for the special day, have a sign-in sheet so you know who’s in your house, have brochures available to visitors, offer light snacks and drinks.

-Show Your House: You should have a lock box on the front door with the key to your house so buyers can preview it anytime that is convenient for them. If you’re home every day including the weekends, you can show your house, if not, make it available somehow. Ohh, be ready to answer calls. Don’t get frustrated if most of these calls are coming from Realtors® as they are trying to get more listings and work For Sale by Owners.
I strongly suggest qualifying each potential buyer who is walking through your door. If they are cast buyers, they should have “Proof of Funds”, if they are using a mortgage, they should have a “Pre-Approval” letter.

-Negotiate: If you haven’t done so already, this is when you must remain calmand focused while remaining objective and detached from the house emotionally. Look at the negotiation as a business deal, if the offer is too low, it is not against you personally or the house. You must have a strategy and know exactly what you will settle for. Keep in mind price is not the only item that’s negotiable.

-Prepare to Close: Each state is different, for instance, Florida is a title state and most of the closings are handled by title companies. To ensure you are using the correct, legal forms, it is not a bad idea to contact a Real Estate Attorney. They of course have fees they charge just to do the paperwork and conduct the closing, again, each state is different, call at least three in your area to find out about their fees. There are forms available at Office Depot, Staples as well as online, be sure to use the most updated, legal form for the state you are in.

Between contract to closing, there are couple of things that take place, one is an inspection and the other is an appraisal. Inspection period should be outlined in the contract as well as repair limits, not every contract is the same, some buyers even remove the inspection and appraisal contingencies.

Whether you choose to sell your house on your own or hire a professional, above are some of the most important steps in a transaction. If you skip one, the end result might not be what you were expecting. Process of selling a home is work, it takes time, knowledge and willingness not to mention all the tools that are necessary.

How to Sell Your House Without a Real Estate Professional..”FSBO”


Comments (17)

Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

There are so many more steps than simply pounding a sign in the ground.  This is great information for FSBOs before they think they can sell on their own.

Dec 28, 2015 02:30 AM
Beth Atalay

Belinda, I barely scratched the surface!

Dec 28, 2015 02:32 AM
Jan Sohlman
RE/MAX Integrity - Eugene, OR
RE/MAX Integrity

Hi Beth,

I don't think people also realise how much work goes into a transaction. Having someone with professional background saves hours of aggrivation and costly mistakes too.

Dec 28, 2015 02:45 AM
Beth Atalay

Jan, some may say or think we(Realtors) are biased but they must also keep in mind how many transactions we have closed with different challenges.

Dec 28, 2015 03:33 AM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Hello, Beth! This is an interesting read that homeowners will definitely learn a lot from. Thanks for sharing this and I hope you have a great day ahead!

Dec 28, 2015 02:54 AM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Nestor and Katerina, wishing you an awesome Monday!

Dec 28, 2015 03:34 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

I have written on this topic many time, there is NO right answer, as it really isn't very smart. I can tell from the mortgage side, most FSBO transactions never close, I cringe when I see one coming.

Your post should be featured!

Dec 28, 2015 03:16 AM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Joe! Of course we have no idea all the reports are 100% accurate but I know for a fact just from my area most FSBO listings do end up hiring a Realtor®.

Dec 28, 2015 03:35 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Beth -- Homeowners thinking of selling without a real estate professional assisting them should read your list --- I think most will say "WHEW" --- I didn't realize I will need to do all of that and if they are in the Clermont FL area should contact you for representation.   Peace of mind and the best possible results are well worth it.  

Dec 28, 2015 03:28 AM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Michael! I wouldn't want to take on the task of selling my own home and I am a Realtor®!

Dec 28, 2015 03:36 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Beth Atalay, This is a great blog with information that many FSBO sellers may not have considered.

Dec 28, 2015 03:35 AM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Sybil, the challenge is not if one can sell his/her home without a Realtor but will it be in their best interest to do so.

Dec 28, 2015 03:37 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I was talking with someone at Starbucks who sold their home 6 months ago without a Realtor. She told me how easy it was. I was working as she kept telling me how easy it was. I asked her how much she got for it...and she told me $350,000 (I quickly looked on the tax records and she actually got $320k). I asked her if she actually got $320k and she sheepishly said yes. The real story is not that she lied about what she received for the home. The real story is I could have sold it for about 400k (390-410k). She "saved" about 20k in fees...and lost 80k in value. The buyer got a great deal...that is for sure!

Dec 28, 2015 03:52 AM
Beth Atalay

Jeffrey, I wish it was possible for me to distribute your comment to every single person who is thinking about selling their home without a Realtor.

Dec 28, 2015 04:33 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Beth sounds like there is a little more to selling a house than just putting a sign on the front lawn, and an ad in the paper :)

Dec 28, 2015 04:16 AM
Beth Atalay

George, we all wish it was that easy. Some say it is easier now with all the technology, I think it's actually harder fro Realtors to market their listings.

Dec 28, 2015 04:34 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Beth - That's a lot of work and it isn't so easy. A professional agent, particularly one that focuses on the needs of the client like you do, knows how to do all of that well while maximizing the return. Usually, it costs more to go it alone as a fsbo.

Dec 28, 2015 04:28 AM
Beth Atalay

Dick, unfortunately, they won't know till it's too late they're actually leaving money on the table by doing it on their own.

Dec 28, 2015 04:35 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Hi Beth, statistics show that by using a professional Realtor one will get more money for the home vs doing is for sale by owner. Great post.

Dec 28, 2015 05:03 AM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Noah! Some do sell their homes without the assistance of a Realtor, however, are they leaving money on the table?

Dec 28, 2015 11:33 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I am with you.  When we sold our home in Los Angeles, (we both have our CA broker's licenses), we hired someone who specialized in the area.  We could have done it, but the emotional strain would not have been worth it.  A

Dec 28, 2015 06:39 AM
Beth Atalay

Alexandra, I wouldn't want to handle the sale of my own home. I see some "FSBO" Realtors, what kind of message is that sending out to consumer? 

Dec 28, 2015 11:34 AM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Great information.....if I ever had the thought of selling a house on my own, this would certainly change my's a lot of work.  Duh!

Dec 28, 2015 09:04 AM
Beth Atalay

Roger, I'm with you, I rather pay someone who's a trained professional to do the job.

Dec 28, 2015 11:35 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Beth, I feel that most FSBO's just do not fully understand all that listing and selling a home involves. I doubt they save any money by not paying a commission. 

Dec 28, 2015 09:56 AM
Beth Atalay

Kathleen, they're probably selling their homes for a lot less than it's worth. Especially if they're solely relying on the information they find on third party sites.

Dec 28, 2015 11:36 AM
ba`B Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

True anyone can sell their own home especially in a HOT market but most likley the net will be lower and all the stress not to mention the legality of doing it yourself. It's not smart to be a FSBO in my opinion and well worth the broker fee to have a professional like Beth Atalay list your Florida home.

Dec 28, 2015 08:53 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I try not to get involved with FSBO's.  After 16+ years in the business, and I find a lot of clueless agents, OY VEY the even more clueless FSBO!  

Dec 29, 2015 05:06 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Never would I consider going it alone without a professional agent representing me. My parents on the other hand have sold twice now without an agent. I tried to convince them they were not saving money but they wouldn't listen to me.  I'm sure they lost money on the first one because they gave it away to the first person who made an offer. AAAARRRGGGGHHHH. Oh well. 

Dec 30, 2015 06:01 AM
Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia

Oh my Beth Atalay .   If the costs and time investment haven't already convinced them, the problems for FSBO's dealing with a lender will.   Go with a professional EVERY time.

Jan 04, 2016 06:23 AM

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